User Experience

UX Practices To Overcome Language Barrier

language barrier

In this article, I am focusing on approaches used to overcome the language barrier, will see some example of well-known applications.

Language Barrier :

Let us understand this term first :

‘’ difficulties in communication experienced by people or groups speaking different languages, or even dialects in some cases.”

Communication becomes difficult in situations where people don’t understand each others’ language. The inability to communicate using a language is known as a language barrier.

Language barriers are the most common communication barriers which cause misunderstandings and misinterpretations between people.
Words that other person doesn’t understand makes communication weak. That why cultural aspect plays a crucial role in user experience design. Netania had described cultural aspect well.

Cultural Aspects :

Overall the way you design and present the content on your site affects how users from any culture process the information.

When creating localised UX it’s essential that you look into how culture has shaped your users’ cognitive processing of information. By gaining insight into your target culture’s values, you’re more able to understand how they perceive certain design elements (e.g. colours, symbols).

There are many cultural dimensions that influence these perceptions, which in turn, influence your users’ decision-making as well. The extent to which each cultural dimension influences your users’ perception towards your UX is not always constant though. And this makes it even more challenging to design localised UX and also, builds a stronger case for cross-cultural awareness in design.”


Now we will see what is language barrier and example of some applications to understand how we can overcome the language barrier.

Amazon :

Recently Amazon India added Hindi language (still in beta) in the app to attract rural customers. As per their research, eight out of 10 Indian customers would prefer to shop in a language other than English.

amazon mobile app screenshot in vernacular language
Amazon Mobile App

The level of trust increases when a user sees something in their own language. It makes a product more user-friendly.

E commerce apps are adding Indian language to attract users, its way to overcome language barriers. Communicating with customers in local language has its own good experience.

Instagram :

This mobile app adding a new feature to help its global audience communicate with one another, with the help of a translation tool.

Instagram mobile app screenshot showing translate option to get rid of language barrier

A ‘See Translation’ button will appear on posts, which will transform a bio, caption or comment into your preferred language.

Other social networks, like Twitter, Facebook offer a similar translation for their international audience and to reduce communication gap.

edCoursera :

Coursera and EDX are online learning platform, used widely across the globe.

edX and Coursera mobile app screenshot showing language translation screen
EDX & Coursera Mobile App

Many renowned universities published their courses content online via these platforms, Keeping in mind the global connectivity, they provide the transcripts in different languages. Sometimes it’s hard to understand the accents of lecturer for other than a native student in such scenarios, transcripts in vernacular language are very helpful.

Farmrise Mobile App :

Farmrise is a mobile app for Indian farmers to improve their profitability by making better & more informed operating and financial decisions and thereby have an extremely positive impact on the complete Indian agriculture ecosystem.

Farmrise mobile app screenshot

The on-boarding process of this application is very well designed according to the cultural aspect as India is a multilingual country. If you see the above screenshot, in on-boarding process itself application asked the user to choose a preferred language.

It is very helpful and encouraging experience for users to use the application in his local language.

Summary :

The cultural aspect is one of the key factors for any digital product to create the better user experience. Especially when designing product for all without any geographic constraints.

Stay Curious & Keep Learning 🙂

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